Low-lying nations such as the Maldives called for stronger action to protect their nation and their lives. Photo: Christian Jensen via flickr.
If you weren't following along, this morning was the main official diplomatic show of Climate Week NY°C, the UN Summit on Climate Change -- but a number of other important developments and statements were made that didn't figure into the carefully worded statements by heads of state. Here are some of those:Small Island States Demand 1.5°C Temperature Target Leaders from the Alliance of Small Island States issued a statement, calling upon world leaders to go beyond the conventional global average temperature rise target of 2°C, instead saying that 1.5°C ought to be the target.
Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives said,
Our people are already suffering coastal devastating impacts and losses at the current 0.8°C of warming -- coastal erosion, coral bleaching, salty drinking water, flooding, and more intense cyclones and hurricanes. Should we, leaders of the most vulnerable and exposed countries, be asking our people to sign on significantly greater degrees of misery and livelihood insecurity, essentially becoming climate change guinea pigs? The limit must be 1.5°C to stay alive!
Prime Minister Marcus Stevens of Nauru added,
Seventeen years after signing the Framework Convention on Climate Change, we are still waiting for emissions to peak. We cannot allow domestic policies and self-interest to delay what we already know to be essential. Further delayed action will escalate the cost of adaptation well beyond our economic capacity.
The Climate Group Calculates Economic Benefits of Collaborative Climate Action
The Climate Group released a report, building on the Stern Report of a few years ago, showing that taking strong action on climate change can both increase GDP and boost employment in all major economies of the world.
Specifically, Cutting the Cost: The Economic Benefits of Collaborative Climate Action says that ambitious efforts to reduce emissions will: 1) create as many as 10 million new jobs by 2020; 2) Generate additional economic growth worth as much as recent green stimulus efforts already adopted; 3) enable a 15-fold reduction in the price of carbon (from $65 per ton to $4 per ton); 4) assist in sustainable development in developing nations if low-carbon technologies are adopted.
Read the full report (linked above) for more info.
World Leaders Bombarded With Wake Up Calls
Being inside the ivory tower or other equally secluded events, I actually missed most of the public happenings so far, but Jason Mogus over at TckTckTck points out that over 2578 'Wake Up Call' events happened yesterday are the world... From Rio de Janiero to Japan, from Kenya to Canada, from India to Congo, the message sent to leaders around the world was clear: We need strong action on climate change and we need it now.
Check out these photos from around the world:
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